WEST FORKS

Maine Guide, cabin owner, dies after van accident

A Pleasant Ridge Plantation man involved in a van accident just minutes after leaving work at a West Forks inn Monday afternoon has died, according to police.

Daniel Donahue, 56, died Friday morning at Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor, according to Chief Deputy Dale Lancaster of the Somerset County Sheriff’s Department. Lancaster said the sheriff’s office received notification of Donahue’s death from the Office of Chief Medical Examiner in Augusta.

Joe Christopher, owner of Three Rivers Whitewater Rafting and the Inn by the River Rafting Lodge in West Forks, where Donahue worked, said he got a call early Friday morning that Donahue had died of head injuries at the hospital.

“He was just as kind a person as you could meet,” Christopher said Friday. “He could do anything and did everything.”

Donahue, a master Maine Guide, operated a small business in nearby Concord Plantation. Donahue’s Old Bluff Cabins and Guide Service started in 2006, according to the business website.

Donahue was driving south on U.S. Route 201 Monday at around 4:15 p.m. when his van, a 2001 Chrysler Town and Country, veered off the road and into a snowbank, hit a tree and rolled over before stopping upright, said Lancaster. The accident was reported by an off-duty Border Patrol agent.

Police are still investigating the accident’s cause, but neither speed nor alcohol appears to have been a factor, Lancaster said.

ORRINGTON

Snowstorm helps thwart alleged hobby shop burglar

The owner of an Orrington business says the latest snowstorm to hit Maine thwarted a burglary at his store.

Warren Mitchell, owner of Kings Mountain Radio Control hobby shop, says he got a call from a neighbor who heard the store’s alarm go off at about 4 a.m. Thursday.

When he got there, the alleged thief’s vehicle was stuck in the snow in the store’s driveway.

Mitchell blocked off the end of the driveway with his own vehicle until police arrived.

Mitchell told WABI-TV the suspect got on his knees and begged forgiveness.

Scott Buck, 30, of Howland was arrested on charges of burglary and theft. Police said they found more than $1,000 worth of store merchandise in the getaway vehicle.

AUGUSTA

New law tightens regulations on Maine’s elver fishery

A new law tightens regulations in Maine’s elver fishery and sets the stage for additional rules.

The measure was signed into law Thursday by Gov. Paul LePage. As an emergency measure, it takes effect immediately.

The law gives the Department of Marine Resources authority to set catch limits, which will be spelled out in separate legislation. It also allows the state to continue working toward an agreement that determines how Indian tribes catch their share of elvers.

Elvers, which are baby eels, have ballooned in value in recent years.

Marine Resources Commissioner Patrick Keliher has said the March 22 start of the season will likely be delayed as the state waits for bills affecting the fishery to be approved in order to review licenses.

Bill targeting predatory lending sent to LePage

A bill that seeks to crack down on predatory lending has been sent to Republican Gov. Paul LePage for his approval.

The Democratic-controlled House and Senate gave final approval to the bill this week. It aims to protect Mainers from unlicensed online lenders who offer illegitimate short-term loans that can drain consumers’ bank accounts with high interest rates and fees.

The measure bans the processing of electronic transfers used by unlicensed lenders to access consumers’ bank accounts.

Rep. Christine Powers, a Democrat from Naples who sponsored the bill, said the state receives complaints about the scams nearly every day. She said it’s “an opportunity to stand up to those who try to take advantage of Maine people.”